GW–Recaps: The Book of Joel Chapter Fourteen, Coming Back, Chapter Fifteen
Next: Denouement, Coda
Dylan Thomas said–The function of posterity is to look after itself.
Joel has come to his old high school to see his former swim coach, Jon Lane. Lane is very pleased to see him and bemused by the reactions Joel’s star personal earns in the school hallways. He also has Joel check out a class, and asks Joel to return sometime. Then Joel tells him why he’s here–he wants to find out if possible what other former students Meese might have abused to help in the lawsuit. He is ready to press Lane hard to get names, but Lane is ready to do so–having suspected Meese was an abuser. Lane gives him some names.
Joel looks up the names and goes to visit one in Pennsylvania, Andrew Blake. Blake is a former addict who is now working as a counselor in a nonprofit. Wary at first, Blake ends up telling Joel more about Meese and the men Meese was with.
Mikki tells Joel Meese has been served. Meese proceeds to call Joel and demand Joel withdraw the suit. Soon after Gabriel and calls Meese and gets in a verbal war with him. Zest and Joel have a plan to get to Cody. But first, Dell shows up at Bob’s apartment. He proceeds to tell Gabriel and Joel what he knows about them–their past history in brushes with the law. Dell doesn’t necessarily believe they are innocent but he is far from feeling they are guilty. He encourages them to talk. Joel takes off but Gabriel lets him in on some details.
Joel and Zest go over to Cody’s place. Zest talks to Cody, telling him about what Meese is. Things have already been arranged to bug Cody’s calls.
Coming Back/Breaking Up
Eleanor Roosevelt said–The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
It’s 2006. Joel has left Antony and come back to NYC. He reunites with Chris. Joel feels restless, maybe going to leave the business and work on his art. Chris doesn’t think he’s ready to make the break as yet. Isabella has work for him and sexual involvement. Joel puts a stop to that, as he’s thinking of looking for a decent LTR. He begins hanging out in his friend’s goth bar.
It’s 2008. Gabriel has tracked Joel down to a high-rise on Maiden Lane, with a client. He calls Joel out, and tells him he can’t go through this anymore with Joel’s refusing to give the relationship a chance. Although Joel protests that his taking the occasional client means nothing, Gabriel insists it’s a maneuver to keep himself distant from Gabriel. And he walks away.
Walt Whitman said–For what is the present after all, but a growth out of the past?
Walter has joined Gabriel and Chris and Joel. They overhear a phone call between Cody and Meese, and figure out that one is about to kill the other. Joel decides to go over to Meese’s house and record everything, not waiting for Zest.
Joel is able to see and hear what goes on at Meese’s house, as he hides outside. He sees Meese take some stuff to the boat and go back in the house; he decides to see what the stuff is. Then Cody arrives, and gets Meese to go to his boat at the dock outside the house. Joel, unnoticed inside, hears Cody knock Meese out and leave him at the bottom of the stairs. Looking out a window, he sees Cody about to set off an explosion. He grabs Meese’s stuff and jumps out the same window he did when 15. He’s able to avoid being injured and make it back to his car unseen. However, before he can get away, Meese crawls in the car–and he has his gun. Meese is not right–the explosion did something to his brain, but Joel decides not to try to go against the gun and fight him off. Instead, he heads for Cody’s cabin. Meese is agreeable to that, and Gabriel et al are able to hear what is going on as Joel drives and talks to the demented Meese.
Gabriel, afraid that Meese is going to kill Joel, decides to cut off the ankle monitor and make for the cabin as well. Zest is ready to take him, and Chris and Walter make off with the monitor to throw police off track. Dell calls Veronica who calls Gabriel and gets him to talk to Dell about where he’s going.
Meanwhile, Joel breaks into Cody’s cabin. Meese is still not with it, but thinks that Joel is trying to help him. Joel searches the cabin and finds Cody’s DVD collection–featuring Cody’s murders. He locates the murder of his father, and at the right moment, takes a swing at Meese. He and Meese struggle, and Joel stabs Meese’s leg with his switchblade. Joel gets out of Meese’s grip and across the room. Before Meese can act further, Cody shows up with his other big knife. Meese attempts to shoot him, but his gun is just squibs. Cody proceeds to cut Meese open. He then indicates he has to kill Joel–no hard feelings–but Gabriel is suddenly telling him to drop everything.
While the situation is under control, Gabriel has a cold moment which Joel fights against, getting Gabriel to drop whatever revenge he planned. Dell then shows up and arrests Cody. While Gabriel and Joel argue for him to look at the evidence, Dell breaks his own hand to get out of the cuffs, sets off an explosion, and while the rest of them are ducking, escapes.
But at last, while help arrives, Dell watches the video. Gabriel is exonerated.
Thoughts: “I saw in a Pennsylvania paper that some accusation has been made against a guy who worked at Penn State. You can imagine how working against the system of a major university can be. This is similar.” —Joel says this to Coach Lane. At the time period of the book, the Penn State scandal was just beginning. The utter betrayal and horrid abuse to the children involved led me to mention it, as Joel can identify with how the victims feel.
The most fun of this section to write was Dell casually reciting Gabriel’s and Joel’s past to them. I love to go into the past history of a character and flesh them out. It surprises me sometimes just how much trouble Gabriel has gotten into. The next was Gabriel cocking the gun at the back of Cody’s head. Gabriel is indeed ready to kill Cody, but manages to stop himself. Like Batman, Gabriel has a no-kill code. Nonetheless, the circumstances of the story have brought Gabriel to the point of considering it. Mr. Zest is with him, and perhaps the partnership they have developed has crossed a line that pushes Gabriel’s boundaries.
I’ll admit, I feel bad for Dell. He is an open-minded professional and is willing to give Gabriel and Joel some consideration. However, the big bad has disappeared and the other is dead. That will need some spin.
Another Rob Dougan song, Furious Angels. I like the intensity of his work, which was used for The Matrix, and provides good beats for the scenes.
Like a sentence of Death
I’ve got no options left
I’ve got nothing to show now
This page updated 1/22/2016
Copyright Alex Fiano